I recommend learning one or two Choose Your Own Adventure songs, and then graduating to Part 2. See you there!
Let's Travis pick "Brown-eyed Girl". Here's what it'll sound like. I'm just going to play through the first chorus.
Hey, where did we go? Days when the rains came. Down in the hollow. Playing a new game.
Laughing and running, hey, hey, skipping, and jumping.
In the misty morning fog, with our heart's a-thumping, you brown eyed girl.
You, my brown eyed girl.
Skip to the chorus.
Do you remember when? We used to sing......sha-la-la......
Now, first of all, if you haven't checked out the chord chart yet, I've got custom chord charts for each of these Travis picking versions in this part of the course, so download your chord chart, bring it up on your screen or print it out so you can follow along as I teach you.
You'll notice there are just four chords in this song. Three of them are probably familiar. The D/F# may not be. It's just a D chord. And then you wrap your thumb around on the sixth string, second fret to play that F# note. If your hand's too small or your neck's too wide in order to play that chord, you can use this alternate with your first finger on the sixth string, second fret, second finger on the third string, second fret, third finger on the second string, third fret. You don't have to fret the first string. We're not going to be picking it in this version anyway. So there's the chords. We're using the picking pattern number three, which you're already familiar with.
Let's look at smoothing out the chords. So the main chord you need to worry about is the D/F#. The other three chords all have open third strings. So as you move from chord to chord, you don't need to do anything special to make them sound smooth. But with that, D/F#, we do need to fret that third string, second fret. So for going like from G into the D chord, we'll just call it the D. We want to do the smooth fret where we use our first finger to grab that note on the third string early. Right there and then build the rest, of our D/F# and then likewise, when we're moving out of the D chord, we want to lift early like this......like that into the back, into the G chord, for example, lift and then pick the G chord. So that'll smooth things coming in and out of chords like G.
There are a couple funky chord changes in like the last line of the verses where you go from, like, for example, from C to D/F#, your first finger's tied up playing the second string and it's not really possible to do the smooth fret move because of that. And so I do a technique called the pounce, which is kind of like when all else fails, it's what I do to smooth out my chord changes Travis picking. What you do there is just wait until the last possible moment to fret that third string and really to fret all of the D chord besides your bass note.........you just wait until the beat to plop your fingers down on that D chord and because you're playing your bass note here, when you do that, this bass note masks the sound of you damping the string. So it sounds like this. See? See how I drop down onto that record, right when I hit the bass note?
And when you're playing hard and fast and you may want to do that in "Brown-eyed Girl" if you can, it's kind of an upbeat, you know, exciting song. The pounce actually turns into a hammer-on. Hear that? I'm doing a hammer-on there as I'm hitting the bass note that happens kind of inadvertently when you're playing vigorously in this style. But it can actually be like a musical, you know, cool little thing that adds some pizzazz to your playing. So don't shy away from the hammer-on here. Sometimes you don't want it like in a quieter song, but in a song like this, I think it sounds cool. So pounce, hammer-on if you want, do a smooth lift coming out of that into the G..... and then. Also, from your C oh, the same transition C to D. Yeah, so it's that C to D transition that is the most problematic in the song. Everything else should be pretty smooth. All right. Have fun playing this song. I think this is a cool way to play "Brown-eyed Girl". Travis picking puts another angle on it, and so I hope you enjoy.
How's it going?
Are you loving the lesson? Confused? Have a suggestion? I'd love to hear from you.